Clay pots are very important cookware for both Turkish and Ottoman cuisines. There are countless dishes are made in clay pots in both Turkish and Ottoman cuisines. Clay Pot Meatballs, in Turkish “Güveçte Köfte”, is one of the most popular meat dishes among these dishes. Clay pot Meatball is also considered as one of the easiest to make dishes within the clay pot dishes.
No matter who you ask in Turkey, they find meat dishes and vegetable dishes cooked in clay pots much more delicious than other dishes cooked in regular stainless steel pots. Kuru Fasulye and Testi Kebabi dishes are great examples of this.
In general, single portion clay pots are used to cook the Clay Pot Meatball dish. In this way, you can fit 4 to 6 clay pots into the oven very easily. You can also use one big clay pot to cook Clay Pot Meatballs dish too if you have a crowded household.
Clay Pot Meatballs dish is a very easy customizable dish. You can diversify your dish by adding different ingredients to it. You can add sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and/or any other ingredient as you wish. I always like to stick to the core and original recipe when it comes to Turkish and Ottoman cuisines. You can only preserve a traditional dish recipe this way to intact for generations.
Clay Pot Meatballs dish is not a specific dish that you can see in Turkish restaurants. It is because clay pot dishes need a long period of cooking time. No restaurant wants to affect the customer cycle by losing time on cooking certain dishes. All restaurants around the globe like to have a fast customer cycle for a profitable business. Therefore, no one in Turkey goes to a restaurant to eat Clay Pot Meatball dish. People like to cook this dish at their homes. You can have a nice feast with your loved ones by trying the original Clay Pot Meatballs recipe that I have presented below.
Clay Pot Meatballs
- 500 gr ground beef (80% lean and 20% fat)
- 1 egg
- 1 onion, mid-sized grated
- 2 potatoes, mid sized peeled and wedge cut
- 1 handful parsley leaves washed, drained and minced
- 1/4 cup breadcrumps
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
For the Sauce
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tomatoes, mid-sized peeled and cube cut
For the Topping
- 150 gr Mozzerella Cheese grated
Pre-heat the oven to 180C(360 F).
In a large bowl, place the ground beef then add the breadcrumbs, grated onion, beaten egg, salt, cumin, ground black pepper, and minced parsley leaves. Combine all very well.
With wet hands take a piece the size of a large walnut and roll. Continue until all meatball mix is finished and set aside.
Heat the vegetable oil in a pan and fry the wedge-cut potatoes first. After they are fried; place them onto the paper towel to remove excess vegetable oil and set them aside.
Fry all meatballs and distribute them to each clay pot evenly.
Place the fried potato wedges 1 by 1 between each meatball in the clay pots and then set them aside.
For the sauce; place the butter, olive oil and tomato paste into a saucepan and cook for about 3 minutes at medium heat. And then; add the minced garlic, pinch of salt, and peeled cube cut tomatoes for about 5 more minutes.
Remove the sauce from the heat and then pour the sauce evenly on the top of meatballs and potato wedges.
Place the clay pots into the oven tray and cook for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, remove the oven tray out add the grated mozzarella cheese on top of each clay pot, and cook additional 5 more minutes.